First time I met Szhirley was at an event held in my favorite cinema in Copenhagen back in 2008. It was prior to the new James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace” which was coming out a month later. The cinema had arranged for a Danish Radio Band to play James Bond classic music with singer Szhirley. I went to listen with some other Bond fans and it turned out one of them knew Szhirley from TV show business. So gently I asked if he would ask her, if it was ok for me to take photos while she was on stage singing. He approached her doing a break between the set and winked me to greet her.
Now every time I approach anyone, celebs and especially in this case a singer, all thoughts runs through my mind, do I look okay? How is the mood with the person… will the person be offended or refuse to answer the question? Will the person be okay with a camera clicking away while performing? I always try to approach respectfully when asking for permission as some are not always too keen if you are not from the press, as well look at the artist while performing. And here it does help that I pay attention to the person’s body language – if you can’t hear what the person says while singing. Even through my lenses I look for signs if the person is uncomfortable or if it is the wrong time to take a photo. If I see any signs in this way I stop taking photos until I either get an ok from the artist or if the artist relaxes again. Too many times I’ve seen at concert the artist maybe performing a strong song or emotionally demanding and someone throws a teddy bear up, a rose or at times even the press photographer may have gotten closer to get the photo. I just simply stop. And sometimes I think it comes as a benefit, when you can see those signal and instead of getting, what some would sell, I will rather have a good “relationship” / reputation/ approach with the artist. Do I miss out good opportunity on this? Maybe, but I so much more enjoy getting that small hello or a greeting later and being remembered in a good way.
And Szhirley did answer my question with a smile and a charisma you rarely find in singers/celebs these days – taking time to do it that is. She asked the usual question where was I from, where would the photo end up etc. etc. and in the end she said it was okay and I should just be careful if I was going to sit where she got up to the stage. (It should be noted that the first 3-4 rows in the cinema were totally bare, so I could walk/crawl around the seats if I wanted, but I kept myself to the middle seats and at one point to the far side, so I wasn’t disturbing the rest of the guest views).
Ever since and every time I have seen Szhirley, weather it has been to a concert (and if she has seen me) or a movie opening, she has winked at me or like last time she greeted me with a quick hello and a hug, while waiting for an interview to start at this Copenhagen Fashion show with a shoe run and shortly afterwards at another place same day, she chatted briefly with me before she winsked off to the next event, asking if I had gotten some good photos (yes – coming up on my photo blog) and wished me a good evening till next time either out there or on twitter. That day it was an after party I believe from her twitter…
On twitter she has been great to answer or reply back on questions or something entirely different. Out of the Danish artist I’ve met live and who has taken time to answer questions as well say hi when she saw me, she is one of my favorite and that is not something I am saying just to score some points. It takes something for me to give back like this. I can give an example, at the James Bond concert I was like other Bond fan rather a bit reserved about how it would be for her to sing the new Bond song “Another way to die” as it had not gotten the best review by Alicia Keys and Jack White, and here Szhirley made it sound 100 times way better. Yes even after all these years, I am still listening to the song every now and again.
My dream would be to do a photo shoot with her either alone or maybe with one of the Bond actors, like Daniel Craig… one can dream… :-)
September 23rd 2012 - PS: I just learned a few days ago, that it is Szhirley's birthday today.... Happy birthday lady.....
The first 3 photos where Szhirley is wearing a red dress is from 2008 - the James Bond music concert -, photo number 4 middle left is from the VIP opening of "Quantum of Solace" a month later, Szhirley wearing a purple dress is from a concert only 2 weeks later in 2008, bottom left in silver jacket is from Jazz festival in Tivoli, Copenhagen 2011 and the last light photo is from the Copenhagen Shoe fashion week August 10th 2012.
The Quiet Photographer